If ever there was a speaker that best encapsulates ‘affordable excellence’ in audio, it would be the GoldenEar Triton Five. This tall, elegant floorstander is priced to compete with two- and three-way tower speakers, yet the cloth-wrapped Triton Five manages to combine a D’Appolito-style ‘MTM’ (mid-treble-mid) layout with extremely high performance drivers, with a full subwoofer section built into the base of the tower.
The specifications are impressive, especially at the price. The top part of the loudspeaker houses two 152mm cast-basket mid-bass drivers flanking what GoldenEar calls a High-Velocity Folded Ribbon Tweeter, a direct descendent of the Heil air-motion tweeter used by Audiovector, Burmester, and more. Along the bottom sides of the enclosure are four opposing, inertially-balanced planar 200mm sub-bass units, two per side. The crossover sits behind the MTM block, because the motive force of the bass units could add undue vibration and resonance, and the combination of a slight backwards rake and non paralleled side panels means the speaker has a degree of time-alignment and internal standing wave control. The fit and finish is good too, given a lot of the speaker is hidden behind a large acoustically transparent sock. The top plate is removable for obvious, sock replacement reasons (should you find a cat decides to treat the sock like its own personal Everest, or you are clumsy enough to spill the entire contents of an Indian meal down the side, a removable top-plate is a good idea). The speaker comes in a range of colours: Noir, really, really dark grey, Obsidian, Raven wing, Onyx, and Coal. Just kidding, they only come in black.
The Triton Five is a loudspeaker with a claimed frequency response reaching down to 26Hz, with a sensitivity of 90dB and a nominal eight-ohm impedance. So, it should be relatively easy to drive. In reality, that’s sort of the case. This is the kind of loudspeaker that loves power, and to get that 32 inches of bass surface area moving needs both voltage and current to kick the Triton Five into high gear. This is not impossible, even in a relatively low price setting, but the Englishman’s Fear of the Watt needs to be suspended if you want to take maximum advantage of what the Triton Five has to offer. In particular, the Triton Five needs that big amp ‘grip’ that only a large power amp with an appropriately ‘stiff’ power supply can deliver. Once that condition is met, you are, ahem, golden!
Installation is relatively straightforward and these are unfussy speakers to install. The loudspeakers need a lot of room, especially to the side walls, and this may preclude using the speaker in smaller European rooms. That being said, anything more than 3.6m (12’) wide will be more than sufficient, and the loudspeaker doesn’t need to project greatly into the room, so you could in theory use the speakers to fire across a 12’x16’ living room. They are more comfortable firing down the 20’ length of a 20’x16’ room, however.